• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Winter's Tale: Tragedy in Acts 1-3.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

THE WINTER'S TALE: Tragedy in Acts 1-3 THE WINTER'S TALE: Tragedy in Acts 1-3 Gregory Geismar Throughout Acts 1-3 in 'The Winter's Tale' Shakespeare uses language and style, which enables the reader to appreciate the imagery, which is being created. Part of this imagery is the idea of tragedy, which features very prominently in, Acts one through to three. In Act 1 the reader is very much familiarising one's self with the characters and their personalities. However even at this early point in the play the main themes are developing quite quickly. In Act 1 scene 2 Leontes is becoming jealous of the relationship between Hermione and Polixenes, suspecting their every action: 'Art thou my boy?' Here Leontes is even questioning whether Mamilius is his own son, this is already showing signs that Leontes mere thoughts of a relationship between his wife and best friend involve question marks of whether Mamilius really is his own son. In Leontes' eyes Hermione and Polixenes seem so friendly that he suspects they have made love. His suspicion is so strong that his heart races: 'I have tremor crodis on me,' so even at this early stage of Leontes' jealousy there is much evidence that Leontes ...read more.

Middle

Camillo is in a very difficult position, if he does not do it then Leontes will be mad at him however if he does then he faces humiliation if found out by others. Polixenes reaction to being told by Camillo that he is supposed to be having an affair, appals him, 'O then my best...the Best! Polixenes reaction to this accusation convinces us even further that he is an innocent man and portrays Leontes as more the villain. In Act 2 when Leontes hears of Camillo's and Polixeness escape from Sicilia, he is further convinced of Hermione's guilt, which leads to her public humiliation and imprisonment. This is ironic because in Act 1 Leontes assures Camillo that he will not hurt Hermione's reputation if Polixenes is murdered. One can see that Leontes paranoia is at an extreme level, with his tone of voice constantly changing from persuasive to angry. This is in keeping with his irrational behaviour. Act 2 scene 1 started off in a light-hearted vein with gentle joking between Hermione and Mamilius. This provides mild comic relief to the tense and serious end of the previous scene. ...read more.

Conclusion

This further impairs his judgement and feeds his crazy behaviour. Up to now one feels that Leontes actions have been the most tragic part of the play, however in Act 3 scene 2 Hermione dominates proceedings. The fact that Hermione has to get up in front of commoners, in the open, in rags and stand trial for a crime that she did not commit is very sad, this is magnified in her speech, 'My third...out to murder.' Her baby has been taken away from her and her reputation damaged. Hermione says how she is not afraid to die because everything she values has been taken away from her, 'Tell me what blessings...die.' She has nothing left to live for. Shakespeare uses the death of Mamilius as a very clever dramatic device to show the destructive power of jealousy. Mamilius illness and death are evidence of the disorder that the kingdom has been in since the onset of Leonte's jealousy. Overall in these three acts, tragic devices have been in abundance. They have been evident in Leontes failure to recognise the truth, the fact that an innocent Queen was forced to stand trial in front of masses and the death of a guiltless boy, free from all suspicion, but yet he suffers at the hands of mistrust and jealousy. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level The Winter's Tale section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level The Winter's Tale essays

  1. Character Analysis of Queen Hermione

    This is a woman who knows her own worth and is not prepared to accept unjustified disgrace. She finally and voluntarily withdraws in order that the oracle may be fulfilled, using the memorable statement; "Apollo be my judge!" "Praised" is what Hermione says in response to the oracle's statement of her innocence.

  2. "What do we learn about Leontes in Act 1? How does Shakespeare dramatically portray ...

    He suggests that they are "Kissing with inside lip"; inferring that a courteous and customary kiss of greeting / parting between Polixenes and his wife may have an underlying, secret and wholly more intimate meaning than what is visible from Leontes' eyes.

  1. By what means does Shakespeare convince us of the madness of Leontes in Acts ...

    in bountiful spring, showing that the situation can improve and the gods mean it to. Indeed the second scene of the second act provides us with proleptic irony in Leontes and Hermione's son Mamillius' line 'A sad tale's best for winter: I have one of sprites and goblins' -Act II,

  2. Winter's Tale Essay on Reference to the Gods and Fate

    In addition the term "O, the fates!" contains high dramatic irony, as she Perdita is oblivious to the fact that "fate" will reveal that she is really the daughter of a king. Perdita and Florizel are very equal. They both talk about the Gods and Fates equally; this is because they mirror each other.

  1. The Winter's Tale - Bohemian Scenes

    She has noble blood and dignity, shown through her diction and blank verse, but lives a rustic lifestyle due to her Bohemian upbringing. This is best summed up by Camillo as her being the "queen of curds and cream". The juxtaposition of "queen" with "curds and cream" highlights her awkward position between the two worlds.

  2. How do relationships succeed or fail in the Winter's Tale?

    Hermione and Leontes are reunited after 16 years. After 16 years, he has greatly changed personally and thus his language is softer, "for she was as tender / As infancy and grace. "[5.3.26-27]. Does Hermione still truly love Leontes and forgives him entirely, or is she just tolerating him for the sake of getting to know Perdita?

  1. Read the following extract from Act I Scene II of the play. How do ...

    Leontes jealousy makes no psychological sense at all. There is a distinct contrast in Leontes's and Hermione's behaviour. Hermione's manner is light-hearted, witty and poised as Leontes seems to be preoccupied, very sombre and awkward towards both her and Polixenes.

  2. Act 1 of "The Winter's tale",

    If so, it is clear that his suspicious are derived from nothing, as Hermione has not yet spoken with Polixenes in the scene, which would definitely portray the madness of Leontes to the audience. However, it is at this point that Hermione slowly sets about persuading Polixenes to stay with them a while longer.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work